Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has sounded the election war drums, telling party stalwarts in his Umno policy speech today that the general election could be imminent and warned that the party must prevail in the tough battle ahead, New Straits Times Online said.
In a fiery speech to members to rouse their fighting spirit and mentally prepare for the polls, Najib said the Malays and Muslims, led by Umno, cannot afford to allow political power to slip from their hands.
He said Umno must realize the electoral challenges ahead are ‘unprecedented’ and the ‘demise’ of Umno due to the act of the current leadership will be an unforgivable sin.
“God willing, the battle torch is strong and will lead to a strong win for the Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election due soon,” he said in the 90-minute address that drew a standing ovation.
Najib, keeping a firmer grip of the party he has led since 2009, was in much better spirit after a tumultuous session last year that later led to the sacking of his deputy and the resignation of a party vice-president.
On Saturday November 19, thousands of people wearing yellow T-shirts flooded the streets of Kuala Lumpur to call for Najib’s resignation, according to CNN.
The rally was organized by Bersih, a coalition of non-government organizations that want to reform and clean up Malaysia’s electoral process.
Bersih means ‘clean’ in Malay, and the rally was the fifth phase of street protests the group has undertaken. Bersih supporters wear yellow T-shirts.
Public dissatisfaction with Najib has grown, especially after news broke over alleged financial mismanagement of a government-run fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB. 1MDB was formed in 2009 to invest in property, infrastructure and energy projects.
As much as $4 billion could have been ‘misappropriated’ from the Malaysian government, the Swiss attorney general’s office said in January.
Top: Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has sounded the election war drums, telling party stalwarts in his Umno policy speech today that the general election could be imminent. Photo: New Straits Times Online
Inset: Protesters in yellow T-shirts gathered in Kuala Lumpur on November 19 to march against Malaysia’s government. Photo: CNN
SOURCE: A Jalil Hamid of New Straits Times Online and CNN